The United States is monitoring the new strain of COVID-19 emerging in the United Kingdom, several US officials said on Sunday, adding it was unclear whether the mutated variant made its way to America.
“We don’t know yet. We will of course check it very carefully,” said Dr. Moncef Slaoui, director of the US COVID-19 vaccination program, told CNN’s State of the Union program.
Slaoui, chief scientific adviser to Operation Warp Speed for the Trump administration, added that the British mutation was “very unlikely” to be resistant to current vaccines and said, “We can’t rule it out, but it’s not here now.”
Other health officials from the outgoing Trump administration and the new Biden administration also said they were watching the strain spread rapidly across the UK. The new British variant appears to be 70% more transferable, forcing new lockdown measures in the UK and travel restrictions on its European neighbors.
US President Donald Trump’s surgeon general Jerome Adams said while mutant viruses are not uncommon, any new COVID-19 strain means Americans need to be more vigilant, washing hands, wearing masks, keeping their distance and crowds to avoid.
“Right now we have no evidence that this will affect our ability to continue vaccinating people, or that it is more dangerous or deadly than the strains that are currently known,” Adams told CBS News. “Face the Nation” program.
When asked about the potential impact on travel between the United States and the United Kingdom, Assistant Secretary of Health Admiral Brett Giroir told ABC News’ This Week program, “I think there should be nothing to worry about right now. We are still monitoring. “
“We don’t know it’s any more dangerous,” added Giroir, a member of the Coronavirus Task Force at the White House. “Right now it looks like the vaccine should cover everything we see.”
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)